Frequent Ferry Travellers

Susan is mum to two gorgeous toddlers; Jack and Lucy. They are regular ferry travellers so we asked their mum to fill us in on how they cope and share any tips for travel by boat.

Jack has travelled by ferry quite a few times from the age of 4 months until 3 and a half years (present day) and Lucy has also travelled from the age of 4 months until 18 months (present day.) We do approximately 3 return journeys a year between Dublin, Ireland and Holyhead, Wales.

There is a fast ferry which takes approx. 2 hours and slow ferry takes approx. 3 and a half hours. The kids are ok on the boat but they both like to be on the move and explore, so not much sitting down goes on and they definitely don’t sleep on the boat.

Most of the time sea sickness isn’t a problem but on a couple of journeys, when the seas have been very rough the kids have had a bit of sea sickness. Bring spare clothes (for the kids and yourself) and loads of baby wipes just in case. The ferry company should provide sickness bags. Best thing to do is lie down if possible where ever you can.

On our ferry route there are no assigned seats on board so you have to find your own seats/table and you are not allowed to return to car during the journey. The staff are unable to help at all with babies and kids. You can bring prams and whatever you like for babies but remember you have to be able to carry it all yourself.

There are baby change facilities on board. Taking a toddler to the toilet can be fun too, trying to keep balance on moving ship!

If you need to heat baby bottles or food it would be a good idea to take a thermos of hot water on board as Health and Safety laws don’t allow for the catering facilities to hand over pots of water etc. to be walked around the ship with.

Some ferries have play areas on board or kid’s areas; some have a ‘cinema’ that plays PG movies.

On board we just let the kids explore, but not when the sea is rough, and just make sure when they are walking around you walk beside them to keep safe from sharp table edges etc. Take books and colouring books and a few toys etc., just in case they do want to sit still!

If there is an option to get a faster ferry on the same route, best to get it even if the price difference is quite a lot more. If you have a long car journey on the other side, kids should be tired from all the exploring and sleep for a good while (yay!)

Thanks Susan, some great info here, fingers crossed your next ferry crossing is nice and smooth -TWT

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